Two Problem-Based Learning Cases: Methamphetamine


Presents two problem-based learning case studies that introduce students to clinical presentations of substance abuse problems, particularly methamphetamine abuse.

Resource Materials


Developer: Creighton University School of Medicine

Curriculum resource type: Problem-based learning (PBL)

Method used: The PBL cases require student interaction and discussion during the sessions. In addition, students are required to research a Student Learning Objective related to each case. Students present their Learning Objectives during subsequent sessions and engage in peer teaching.

Intended audience: Second- and third-year medical students

Implementation time: Case #1 is designed for three sessions, each approximately 60-90 minutes. Case #2 is designed for two sessions, each approximately 60-90 minutes.

Additional components: Facilitator Guide; discussion questions; references

Educational objectives:

  • Integrate and apply collected data to problem solving, including the generation and prioritization of a differential diagnosis for acute psychosis and for acute chest pain.
  • Develop the skills necessary for the interpretation and utilization of relevant historical, physical examination, and laboratory information in a patient who is acutely ill.
  • Integrate the concepts of evidence-based medicine to develop an approach to an acutely ill patient.
  • Assess the impact of culture on obtaining information detrimental to the diagnosis and management of the clinical cases.

Evaluation tools: Student learning is assessed by facilitators who use multiple criteria, including student participation, student topic reports, number and sources of evidence consulted, and quality of presentations. There are session evaluation and learner self-assessment forms, as well as a form to assess the facilitator.

Curriculum resource description: This curriculum module contains two PBL cases that provide clinical presentations of substance abuse problems. These cases can be used in teaching situations where it may not be feasible to use clinical material or standardized patients. The PBL cases can be used to augment lecture material about the topic of drug abuse and dependence with clinically relevant cases that depict real-life scenarios for students to work through-either in a small-group format or an interclerkship seminar. The PBL cases introduce students to clinical presentations of substance abuse problems. The cases are realistic and can be adapted for use in different courses or clerkships.

Key words: Drug abuse; drug addiction; substance abuse; methamphetamine abuse; methamphetamine treatment